Crescent Lounge Karaoke Is Like Studio 54, Minus the Blow

So Chic.
The Crescent Lounge on Capitol Hill is a seven-night-a-week karaoke mecca that is considered by many to be the wildest bar to sing at in all of Seattle. The hosts are outrageous; the bartenders pour cheap, stiff drinks; and the scene is like a raging costume party 365 nights a year.

I went there last Tuesday a little after 10 p.m. to celebrate my 100th karaoke column, and I seriously could not have picked a better place to commemorate this milestone. The moment I walked in, I remembered how much more I love every-night spots than bars that only feature karaoke once a week. The Crescent has the best karaoke schedule anywhere. There's a different host every night of the week. Monday through Thursday the show goes from 9 to close; Friday through Sunday it starts at 7 ( a dream come true); and every second and third Sunday of the month, the host known as Julia D'Poon starts her show at 5.

The Crescent's stage is set up to the right of the entrance, and can be seen from the entire bar. The monitors are positioned in a way where performers and audience naturally face one another. The sound is fantastic, and the song selection is huge.

Technically, the Crescent is a gay bar, but it attracts a very diverse crowd. One of the first singers I caught was a girl in her twenties who went by Sunflower. When the host, Johnny Cockring, announced she was going to sing "Lovefool" by The Cardigans, the audience that surrounded the stage went nuts. She wasn't in key, but they didn't care. They just loved singing along to the "Love me, love me" part.

This black dude a few performers later sang the old disco classic, "I Want Your Love," by Chic. He was a total ringer. Between his voice, the zany crowd, and the light show, the place turned into an all-out Studio 54 scene. All that was missing was the blow.

I had "Tiny Dancer" filled out on a slip, but wanted to check out the Springsteen options before committing. I waited against the wall stage right until the current singer was done, then stepped onto the stage to checking it out. I barely had it cracked before Johnny yelled at me to get away from there. I wasn't sure if he was pissed about me looking through his book or taking the stage before my turn, but he scolded the shit out of me. I apologized and he mellowed out. He then helped me try to find the song I was looking for, but it wasn't there. It was OK, however, as my Elton John performance ultimately delivered.

The Crescent Lounge, 1413 E. Olive Way, 659-4476, CAPITOL HILL

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